Winter Boat Storage On Water: Pros and Cons

A frequently asked question among boat owners is where to store a boat for winter: on water or on land?

Winter boat storage on water

Both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages, and are each worth considering before deciding on which winter storage method works best. In this article, we focus on the pros and cons of storing a boat on water.

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Storing a Boat On the Water: Pros


Very little work is required to store a boat on water over the winter, especially since it's not necessary to haul the boat anywhere or prop it up on boat stands. This doesn't mean a boat stored on water shouldn't undergo a full winterization process. All boats should be winterized regardless of whether they'll be stored on water or on land.

Boat winter storage water

Readiness for Use

A boat stored on the water will be ready to go much faster than one stored on land. Land storage for winter takes a lot more preparation to get the boat back out on the water come springtime. 


A wet mooring is likely to cost less than paying for a dry storage space, especially if that space is at a boatyard or marina.


Speaking of marinas, storing your boat on the water in a marina comes with the security benefits the marina provides. Plus, it's easy to overlook the fact that a boat on the water is less likely to be stolen than one sitting on a trailer on land.

Boat winter storage marina security

Storing a Boat On the Water: Cons

Ice and Snow Removal

Ice can severely damage or even sink a boat. Once temperatures reach freezing point, it's necessary to immediately break up the ice that forms around the hull before any permanent damage can be done. If snow is left to pile up, its weight can easily break through covers or buckle fiberglass surfaces. 

Winter boat storage snow ice

Lack of Maintenance

The winter season presents the perfect time for any maintenance or repair work to be carried out while the boat is inactive. However, if the boat is stored on water, it's almost impossible to inspect, repaint, repair or replace any areas below the waterline, such as the hull and any fittings.

Regular Inspection

It's necessary to check up on a boat stored on water on a regular basis. Any water that gets into the boat must be removed before it can freeze and cause damage or lead to mold issues. Plus, any critters that make their way inside will need to be removed before they make your boat their home for the winter.

Boat winter storage water removal

The Winter Storage Decision

Compelling arguments can be made for and against storing a boat on water during the winter. Although these pros and cons carry different levels of importance depending upon climate conditions and the individual boat owner's circumstances, common sense should always come into play for the safe storage of your boat. 

Boat winter storage pros and cons




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